2016-07-28 training log

Again, it’s deload week.

And you know what? I’m really glad I took it. My joints and everything are feeling really good. I can only wonder how I’d feel if I did go the additional 3 weeks.

So, huzzah.

Nothing else much to report. It’s just a deload day.

5/3/1 Simplest Strength Template

  • Deadlift
    • 135 x 5
    • 135 x 5
    • 165 x 5
    • 165 x 5
    • 195 x 5
    • 195 x 5
  • Front Squat
    • 95 x 5
    • 115 x 5
    • 140 x 5
  • Elevated Glute Bridges
    • BW x 12
    • BW x 12
  • Crunches
    • BW x 12
    • BW x 12
  • Seated Calf Raises
    • 35 x 12
    • 35 x 12

The Cost

…our priorities should always be:

  1. Avoid,
  2. Escape,
  3. Confront,
  4. Resist

When we jump to Confront and Resist before we absolutely need to, we’re being emotionally hijacked by the situation, our pasts, our current influences, and our egos. Allowing an emotional hijacking is no more a recipe for success than going along with any other kidnapping attempt. There’s always going to be a very high cost.

Internet common-taters take note; it’s not you who will pay the cost, so STFU.

Claude Werner once again nails it. There’s a cost involved in killing someone – and it goes far deeper than you may have ever considered.

The cost is not only borne by the individual who does the shooting but also by their family. At some point their children are going to go to school and one of their classmates is going to taunt them with ‘my daddy says your daddy is a murderer!’ No matter how justifiable the shooting may be, someone in the community who feels that self-defense is an unacceptable concept will express their feelings to their children and the children will pass it on to your children.

Yup.

There are legal costs. There are financial costs. But there are also personal, emotional, psychological, reputation, jobs, social, relationships… there are many costs.

Going to guns should be the last resort. We should do all we can to avoid, deter, deescalate, escape. When you truly consider the costs, those are all far cheaper options.

Perception is not reality

There is half as much crime in the US right now as there was about 25 years ago. Both violent and property crime have declined pretty steadily since the early 1990s.

But Americans are more concerned about crime now than they have been since 2001.

[…]

But the massive disconnect between what crime rates actually are and what many Americans think they are shows two things. One is that in general, Americans think large societal issues are getting way worse than they actually are.

Full story (from Vox) h/t Seth Anderson Bailey.

So the reality is crime is down, and pretty much at an all-time low. Crime still happens in great numbers, but nowhere near as much as you think.

But yet, people think things are worse.

Why might that be?

Could it be due to the news media? The 24/7 need for blood in the headlines? When one thing happens in some remote part of the world, someone decides it’s “newsworthy” and suddenly it’s the story dominating all media outlets for the next week?

Hooray Internet.

Hooray the “always connected” lifestyle.

Hooray for the fear-mongers.

Hooray for those that profit from all of this.

Perception is not reality.

Look beyond the headlines. Look at the Truth.

Don’t believe the hype.

 

2016-07-26 training log

Deloading. Not much exciting to say.:-)

But a few comments:

Accidentally tucked my feet more than usual while benching. That’s been a problem for me in the past because it really caused my butt to lift, but not so today. I think because I’m finding the direction of my drive is different — more up into my head, instead of up off the bench. That said, I’m not sure the tuck gets me as much. Still, was interesting to play with and I’ll probably continue to play with this a bit.

I am wondering if I may need to stop pull-ups for a bit. I think above all things they are what’s making my elbows hate life. Ugh. But that said, today I found that if I pulled my elbows in — as if I was trying to touch them together while pulling myself up — that seemed to make my joints not feel as stressed. I need to explore that a bit more. It’s not a huge change, not actually trying to touch them, just not letting them flare out, y’know?

To that, I also think I may ditch the overhead extensions for the same reason. Stupid elbows.

5/3/1 Simplest Strength Template

  • Bench Press
    • bar x whatever
    • 95 x 5 (warmup sets superset with band pull-aparts)
    • 95 x 5
    • 115 x 5
    • 115 x 5 (work sets superset with neutral-grip pull-ups)
    • 140 x 5
    • 140 x 5
  • Incline Press
    • 85 x 5 (sets superset with neutral-grip pull-ups)
    • 105 x 5
    • 125 x 5
  • Cable Rows
    • 100 x 12
    • 100 x 12
  • Shrugs
    • 205 x 12
    • 205 x 12
  • Overhead Triceps Extensions (superset with curls)
    • 60 x 12
    • 60 x 12
  • Hammer Curls (alternate, across body)
    • 25e x 12
    • 25e x 12

2016-07-25 training log

Sometimes you just have to listen to your body.

I was all set to start another cycle, to go 9 weeks before deloading. But when I woke up this morning I just wasn’t feeling it. I stepped back, looked at everything, and in the end opted to take this week as a deload. I’m getting all excited by the momentum, about being back on track, all those things, and I’m just excited to keep going. Well, if I want to keep going for the long run, I need to pace myself. There have also been other things going on in my life that are affecting my recovery, so it’s best for me to deload now. I’ll hate it, but if the whole week I’m just anxious to get back at things, that’s a good sign.:-)

So, did the deload per protocol, cut assistance work “in half”, and just got some work in. Nothing big, but honestly I felt really good afterwards — like it was just what the doctor ordered. So, probably a smart thing for me to just run 6-week cycles and take the deload like it or not.

Weight has been holding steady at 230. That will be a bit of a challenge this week, but I just need to keep carb intake under control and I should be OK.

5/3/1 Simplest Strength Template

  • Squats
    • bar x whatever
    • 110 x 5
    • 110 x 5
    • 135 x 5
    • 135 x 5
    • 165 x 5
    • 165 x 5
  • Straight-leg Deadlift
    • 135 x 5
    • 150 x 5
    • 175 x 5
  • Leg Curls
    • 30 x 12
    • 30 x 12
  • Hyperextensions
    • BW x 10
    • BW x 10
  • Crunches
    • BW x 10
    • BW x 10
  • Standing Calf Raises
    • 50 x 10
    • 50 x 10

Sunday Metal – In This Moment

In This Moment “Blood”

 

The importance of being honest with yourself (and setting ego aside)

Had a long weekend at KR Training: July 16 was a Basic Pistol 2 and Defensive Pistol 1, and July 17 was a Basic Pistol 2… yes again. Classes have been selling pretty well.

I want to depart from my usual “class AAR”. I mean, what we see out of these classes from a skills perspective tends to be the same thing every time. So if you were in one of these classes and are curious about skills, just hit the Search field and read what you find.

What I want to talk about is – self-assessment.

It is vital in life to be (brutally) honestly aware of yourself, your skills, your abilities, your level, your capabilities, your limits, your strengths, your weaknesses. It’s the only way to truly achieve your goals.

We had a couple people in the BP2 class that were scheduled to stay for the DPS1 class. As BP2 progressed, it was evident that DPS1 was not going to happen for them: just too much to handle. We gave them feedback, but they also took a step back and looked at themselves and opted to skip DPS1 and come back later. I’m not sure what they will do exactly (maybe take BP2 again, maybe take some private lessons), but I am proud of them for making an honest self-assessment and doing the right thing. They set ego aside and made an honest and wise choice. In the long run, this is going to pay dividends.

There’s another gentleman that’s been around for some time. He’s taken many classes with us, and BP2/DPS1 are “below him”. But he still takes them (again) because he knows he has things to work on, skills to learn, and that he can improve – and that these classes will help him get there. His honesty, his humility, that serves him well towards progress and improvement.

Don’t feel you need to always move on to the next class, just because you’re supposed to, or especially because you just want to. If you take a class before you’re ready, you’ll just be frustrated and won’t learn. There is nothing wrong with taking the same class again; in fact, now that you’ll know the material, you’ll be able to focus on other aspects of the class, including putting more effort into the drills and really letting the material sink in. Remember the maxim: redundancy fosters learning. Taking a class multiple times, that’s redundancy, and it will lead to (improved) learning.

After you finish a class, let things digest. Take a step back. Self-assess where you are. See where you are now relative to where you were: both where you really were and where you thought you were. Now look where you want to go. Will taking the next class be the way to get there? or could taking 1-2 steps back serve you better in the long run towards achieving your goal? It all depends upon your goals, of course. But the more honest you are in your self-assessment, the willingness to put ego aside, THAT is what will help you achieve your goals in the long run.

Train hard, train smart.

2016-07-22 training log

It just keeps going. Huzzah.

Pressing doesn’t hit that 10-rep threshold because it was THE one thing that had a true 1RM figured out. But I’m still hitting more weight, more reps, everything going up and progressing. So hey… great!

As well, my setup is getting better. One thing I did today was letting out just a tiny bit of air after I unracked the bar. That was ok and helped, but it was also bad because I did loose a little. Next time I’m going to try the opposite: start with maybe 90-95% air, then unrack, then give a slight inhale. It may be a little tougher to do right, but we’ll see. Point is, I’m finally getting a better setup with Press. I still have work to do on it, but it’s getting there.

A few other changes.

I’ve been feeling some elbow discomfort, so chins are just a problem. I don’t want to stop chinning, so in between sets I would just examine different grips and how it felt against my joints. In the end? Standard pronated-grip pull-ups. I also reduced my reps today, just by a couple per set, so I got some work but didn’t beat myself up too much.

Finally, extensions went back to a prior form. I used to lower the bar behind my head. Then I changed to lower to my forehead. But I’m going to go back to behind the head. To the forehead seems to cause me more elbow issues than behind the head. As well, to the forehead doesn’t give me as much range of motion — nor a consistent range of motion — because I’m trying to not bash in my forehead. When I go behind my head, the range is always the same because there’s a better index point for the bottom of the movement. It also didn’t cause me any elbow issues that I can remember.

So with that…..

To press forward another 3 weeks or deload?

I’m going to press forward, but I suspect 9 weeks will then require a deload before I go again (but I’ll make that call in 3 weeks).

I’m going to make only minor adjustments to the program. Everything’s generally working, so why change? My body hasn’t adapted, things aren’t slowing down, progress continues at a crazy rate, so don’t change anything. The minor changes I will make are like the above: changing pull-ups instead of chin-ups, changing my triceps work slightly, all to avoid aggravating my elbows. But that’s all the changing.

So, onwards!

5/3/1 Simplest Strength Template

  • Press
    • bar x whatever
    • 60 x 5 (warmup sets superset with band pull-aparts)
    • 75 x 5
    • 90 x 3
    • 115 x 5 (work sets superset with pull-ups)
    • 130 x 3
    • 145 x 8 (8RM PR)
  • Close-Grip Bench Press
    • 135 x 5 (sets superset with pull-ups)
    • 160 x 5
    • 180 x 5
  • V-Bar Pulldowns
    • 110 x 20
    • 110 x 16
    • 110 x 12
  • Face Pulls
    • 100 x 20
    • 100 x 18
    • 100 x 14
  • Lying Triceps Extensions (superset with curls)
    • 60 x 20
    • 60 x 15
    • 60 x 12
  • Close-grip EZ-bar Curls
    • 55 x 20
    • 60 x 12 (whoops! forgot to strip off the 2.5s!)
    • 55 x 12

2016-07-21 range log

Not only did I hit the gym this morning, but I also hit the range for some practice.

While I enjoy live fire work, I have to remember that the work comes in dry-fire practice and all live fire is is validation. Where am I doing well? Where am I improving? Where do I still suck? Where do I need work? It’s also a time to explore, experiment, and push.

Karl’s been pushing me towards getting my USPSA classification (finally). I’m on the road to “B” class, and I must admit it’s been showing me a lot of things where I just suck and have room to improve.  The particular things Karl’s had me working on have certainly improved my skills already, but much of that’s been doing stuff from a gaming rig (holster, pouches, etc.). Today, I wanted to see how well those skills were translating back to my carry gear.

This past Sunday before class I had a little time so I went to the steel range and worked on my drawstroke. I set up on a 12″ steel plate at 10 yards, set the timer to a random start, and off I went. I was consistently getting 1.4 second draws from IWB holster and concealment (rip up my shirt). I could push and get 1.2 or 1.3 draws, but inconsistent. Sometimes I missed my grip, so while the index then was good, the gun was out of alignment and I’d miss. Or the converse, that I’d realize the gun was off, take the moment to adjust, and then get a 1.5-1.6 draw. And sometimes I just went faster than my eyes would handle it. But really, I’m happy with this because that sort of draw time is something I’ve been striving for — at any distance, on any size target — and just haven’t been consistent in nailing. So I’m getting there. A large part of it is certainly due to working from the gaming rig and getting those 0.9-1.0 second draws at 3-5 yards to the A-Zone. So I’m pleased.

So coming into today’s session, I wanted to shoot drills where points and time affected score. So things like Comstock or Vickers count, etc..

Started with the 3M Test, which is a favorite diagnostic. I actually did pretty crappy here. I was getting OK draws (e.g. 1.6-ish), about .25 splits, about 1.75-ish on the malfunction, but then the reloads would run 3-4 seconds. BLAH. I can do this drill in 8 seconds, but was not doing it today. I spent some time looking at what one could shoot this in, and rough numbers… a 6? I only did rough figuring, but point is that one can do this much faster. Granted, according to Tom’s scoring, shooting it clean in 10.5 seconds (125 score) is “very high skill”, so I’m exceeding the top-end scoring here… but still, I’d like to work on getting this drill down to 7 seconds. While I certainly can work on shaving time off on the draw, the splits, etc., the biggest time-sink for me is the reload.

There will be a theme.

I switched to shoot the Gila Hayes 5×5 drill just to give me some perspective. That was fine, and I did it with the Claude Werner “and do it 5 times”.

I then went on to the Rangemaster Core Skills. I scored a 98 on it (par is 100). But this is a big improvement over the last time I shot it (80). I ran into similar issues here, that I can pick up a little time here and there by getting my draw and splits down a little bit (e.g. I was creeping up on 0.4-0.5 splits as the distance increased, and about 1 second splits at 15 and 25). But more than these little things, it’s some bigger things, like the reload. As well, drawing at longer distances, because I’d take too long to set up at 15 and 25 yards.

Before I called it a day, I shot the Rangemaster Instructor Qualification. Got a 240 out of 250 (25 yards – my nemesis).

So, much to take from this in terms of what to work on:

  • Continue to work on my drawstroke. At shorter distances, continue to reinforce the mental picture of what an acceptable sight picture is. Work more at longer distances to find that sight picture. While I should work some at 25 yards and such, I think right now focusing 7, 10, and 15 yards is enough.
  • As well in the drawstroke, work on nailing the grip, maintaining a crushing grip throughout. When I did the SHO and WHO shooting, I was crushing the hell out of the gun, and while I was a little slow (because I was focusing hard on ensuring sights and trigger), I only dropped 1 WHO shot — grip grip grip. Crush hard.
  • Do more 25 yard group shooting.
  • Reloads. Reloads. Reloads. If there’s any place I could make a dramatic improvement in my times, it’s here.

So in terms of dry work, I think the next couple weeks will focus on draw on various size targets, especially those simulating 7-15 yards. And reloads, reloads, reloads.

BTW I should say, what’s my goal in all of this?

I’d like to get to USPSA “A” class. I could be wrong in this — and please correct me if I am — but my assessment feels like “A” class is pretty good for my situation. What then comes for “M” and “GM” is being able to be consistent, and consistent in playing the game. That is, “A” class has really good skills overall. But now you need to apply them within the context of the game: stage planning, and other “gaming” aspects. Plus the time and dedication to put into developing and progressing towards this very specific end. Nothing against those things, but it’s not my interest right now. Of course I say this and who knows — I get to “A” and then I may just feel the thirst for “M”. I mean, I wasn’t motivated to get my classification at all, but now that I’m on the road for it and seeing what I’m learning from it… gee if I ain’t anything but motivated to get there.:-) Either way, gotta get to “A” first, so first things first.

2016-07-21 training log

It just keeps rolling!

Much deadlifting today. 10RM set.

One thing I’m trying to do with my deadlifting is get “back” more. When I set up, my hips tend to be a little high, because I am stronger at pulling with my back than my legs. I notice when I do this, my weight is forward — I’ll feel the pull more towards the front/ball of my foot than the mid-foot. So I’ve really been working on trying to get my hips lower, start lower, push “through my heels” (which may actually get me mid-foot), and to “pull backwards” like I’m trying to fall backwards. It’s all mental cues, but the goal is to get the weight moving up the mid-foot and to be using my legs more. Yeah, I could probably pull more if I leveraged my back more, but I’m trying to build my legs up so….

And today I did something I hadn’t in ages: used a mixed grip. I’ve been double-overhanding it and been quite happy. But I figure as the weights get heavier, as the gym keeps being so humid and sweaty, I better start to mix-grip it. I only did it on the last set and it threw me a little bit because it was an unfamiliar feeling and I didn’t have my hand placement just right so the bar was a little unbalanced (not much, but just a wee). But no big deal; just tells me to mix-grip it on my work sets from here out, need it or not, to get back to it.

Front squats went well.

But all the assistance work — yeah, this is what I need to reexamine to figure what I’m really going to get benefit from or not. Much thinking.

Anyways, damn good day. And with sleep being better (been napping a lot the past few days, and had a very good night sleep last night), I’m feeling good towards going another 3 weeks before I deload.

5/3/1 Simplest Strength Template

  • Deadlift
    • 135 x 5
    • 165 x 5
    • 195 x 3
    • 245 x 5
    • 280 x 3
    • 310 x 10 (10RM PR)
  • Front Squat
    • 150 x 5
    • 175 x 5
    • 195 x 5
  • Elevated Glute Bridges (superset with crunches)
    • BW x 10 (each leg)
    • BW x 10 (each leg)
    • BW x 20 (both legs together)
  • Crunches
    • BW x 20
    • BW x 15
    • BW x 10 (the isometric from the one-leg bridges takes something)
  • Seated Calf Raises
    • 35 x 15
    • 35 x 15
    • 35 x 15